Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Aloo Curries!

Today we're going "exotic"-- especially for the '60s. I picked up Curries of India by Harvey Day, assisted by Sarojini Mudnani (ninth printing, 1969), mostly because I was charmed by the line drawings. I like the way the woman (with a halo? I'm not quite sure what is going on there--) is posed similarly to the man in the turban. The parallels suggest similarities between divergent groups, something I don't often see in the older cookbooks. We're kind of lucky the guy in the turban isn't made to do something ridiculous like riding an elephant while he tries to cook.

I also love the lamb and chicken looking at the stew pot. The lamb seems a little too enthusiastic. Does she have a death wish? Is she pleased that a rival lamb has been turned into dinner? The chicken looks genuinely alarmed, but I don't know whether it's by the lamb's attitude or by the knowledge that he could be next! Knowing that things are out of scale doesn't help either, I'm sure. Is this a monster chicken? A tiny lamb? The chicken is alarmed either way.

Some of the recipes give the authentic names of dishes, so I want to imagine they're pretty close to authentic recipes:

I don't know-- a half teaspoon each of "ground chilli" and turmeric doesn't seem quite seasoned enough, but at least there are substantial amounts of actual spices! No pinches of seasoning or single drops of Tabasco sauce...

I love the potato lifting his hat to greet the other with "Aloo!" Is the other potato amused or annoyed by the pun? I'd like a second drawing with a reaction shot.

I frankly doubt the authenticity of some recipes, but this one sounds like a yummy way to use up leftovers:

Season leftover meat, seal it into mashed potato balls, roll them in egg and breadcrumbs, and deep fry. Yum! Potatoes are almost always awesome, and deep frying them, well... even better.

The lumberjack potato gives us another example of a food that seems a bit too excited. The big smile while holding up an enormous ax makes me wonder if this is a potato serial killer, taking the others out so they can go into the potato chops. Or maybe he's using the ax to fend off the cooks? This kind of makes me wish there were a short horror film about this crazy little guy: "Potato Chop: The Potatoes Bite Back!"

Here's one more recipe that is just as unlikely to be authentic (and likely to be yummy anyway):

Potato chip curry! Make your own potato chips, then cook in a highly seasoned tomato mixture. (This calls for whole ounces of fenugreek, coriander, turmeric, and ginger, alongside "chilli" powder and garlic!)

I don't know whether the chip in the picture is falling backwards into the pan or jumping out, but it's just as happy as the other potatoes we've seen. Apparently being made into a curry is pretty exciting. Maybe I should try it sometime.

Aloo Poppy!

Okay, maybe not.

This is part of Cookbook Wednesday, administered by Louise at Months of Edible Celebrations.


  1. If there is one thing for sure and exciting to me about Cookbook Wednesdays, Poppy, it's your uncanny sense of humor! What a day brightener, lol...I just don't see things the same way which is why I'm usually accused of not having any, lol...It's posts like these that remind me of Lidian from Kitchen Retro. Have you ever visited her blog? You should, you would appreicate it so much more than I:) And I do enjoy it:)

    As for these dishes, well, I'm guessing this book was way before its time. Curries most certainly must have sounded more than exotic. Perhaps out of this world at the time. Actually, they still do at times to some people I know. Myself included but I do love most of them!

    I would almost think this book was sponsored by a spice or seasoning company such as McCormick. Possible I suppose.

    Thank you so much for sharing, Poppy and thank you for linking up for Cookbook Wednesday.

    1. Yes, I do like Kitchen Retro! Thank you for recommending it in case I hadn't seen it though. There are so many fun food blogs out there that it would be easy to miss one.

      I don't think this one was sponsored by anyone, but McCormick would have been smart to market cookbooks like this since so many people seemed to be spice-averse back then!

  2. This reminds me of that potato salad we had to make with cold fries, still in the list of worst foods ever!

    1. Ugh! I forgot about that. I will never understand what the point of that salad was-- disgusting AND nutritionally terrible.

  3. Potato Chops reminds me of croquettes. Hmm deep fried goodness :D

    1. They are croquette-y, aren't they? It's funny how they sound more exotic since they're in a curry book.